Unsafe Trucks from Mexico Allowed in Nevada
In years past, trucks with freight from Mexico and Canada crossed the U.S. borders and stopped within a few miles of the border to unload, transferring their cargos to U.S.-based trucks that completed the deliveries to various points within the country.
The Bush administration has been weakening this system by allowing more cross-border trucks into the U.S. to drive far beyond the borders, much further into the U.S. Unfortunately for Americans on the roads and freeways, the trucks that come into the country from Mexico do not have to meet the same safety standards as those used for American trucks.
Although Congress has made several demands that the Bush administration not continue to open the border to Mexico-based trucks without ensuring they meet certain safety standards. The Federal Motor Carriers Association (FMCSA) recently allowed yet another group of Mexico-based trucking companies to start operating in the U.S.
FMCSA Not Enforcing Safety Standards
In fact, the FMCSA has consistently not kept up with deadlines set by Congress regarding the enforcement of safety standards for large trucks, such as:
- Hours-of-service limits for truck drivers to combat truck driver fatigue
- Hazardous materials/cargos
- Driver background checks
- Driver training requirements
Lawsuit to Force the Feds to Act
During the Bush administration, the FMCSA has constantly shown reluctance to fulfill its stated mission to “reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.” After the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the advocacy group Public Citizen successfully sued the federal government to more strictly monitor the safety and the environmental impact of Mexico-based trucks.
The controversy continues. Some of the U.S. counties at the border with Mexico have observed 40% increases in the rate of truck crashes involving large trucks after the border was opened to Mexico-based trucking companies.